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creating brand value in the age of overload creating brand value in the age of overload Presentation Transcript

  • creating brand value in the age of overload Boston University, January 24 2014
  • thank you for having me... kelsey hodgkin brand strategy
  • the countries i have worked in
  • some of the brands i have worked on
  • at the heart of all great advertising, lies the truth well told...
  • but at it’s most powerful, advertising is a cultural force: the art of laddering a product truth to a brand ideal which shapes the desires of society
  • smoking marlboro is a manly habit: marlboro brand idolized the cowboy, the ultimate definition of american masculinity but as richard prince asked: what is this truth, really?
  • ralph lauren makes american luxury lifestyle products. his depiction of the american dream = the ultimate ideal of new world (wasp) perfection Vanity Fair, 2007
  • meanwhile calvin klein + bruce weber’s 1990s depiction of male sexuality = the continued fantasy of today
  • what if advertisers had idealized this guy?!
  • the point is, at it’s most powerful advertising has never been about just selling a product, but co-opting, and ultimately informing a cultural ideal
  • yet in the last decade or so, following 9.11, the great recession and a series of natural disasters, the traditional definition of our ideals has been questioned
  • this has been exacerbated by the technological revolution, which has obviously fundamentally changed the way we can connect with each other on local/global scale
  • on the one hand this has created positives: collective action, mobilization, socialglobal connectivity like never seen before
  • and on the other hand, a not so positive onslaught of “content” information over load is threatening to numb even the most curious of optimists
  • “ today, prophecy no longer feels like a description of the future but, rather, a guide to the present… Our society has reoriented itself to the present moment. Everything is live, real-time, and always on. It’s not a mere speeding up, however much our lifestyles and technologies have accelerated the rate at which we attempt to do things…If the end of the twentieth century can be characterized by futurism, the twenty-first can be defined by presentism: a diminishment of everything that isn’t happening now, in favor of everything that is. — Daniel Rushkoff, Present Shock “
  • the result? we want to see tangible proof of ideals, leaders that are willing to do as they say.
  • and brands that are willing to take responsibility for, and invest in, meaningful social value beyond their own P+L “Society will no longer accept companies simply creating value for themselves.” Wendy Clark, Coca Cola
  • brands can no longer “idolize the dream”; they must create cultural value that is collectively relevant and whose impact can be felt, more or less, immediately
  • simply put: successful brands today are those that translate their ideals into tangible value for both them and us. brand purpose social/cultural need shared value
  • this has driven a change in marketing behaviors: from saying to doing imagining experiencing promising proving ideals actions
  • and a change in marketing objectives: from saying to doing imagining experiencing promising proving ideals actions maximize your impact by creating shared value: things that benefit them + you spread faster and cheaper
  • burberry: timeless british fashion + access over exclusivity = exclusive fashion accessible to all “You know, when I was a student in London, my father wanted to buy my mother a watch from a luxury brand. This was a really big thing in my family, because we didn’t buy a lot of luxury objects. So he sent me the money and asked me to get it. That should have been a really beautiful experience, going in, choosing this special present ... but it wasn’t. It was terrible. It was so intimidating, and I was made to feel so inferior, probably because of my clothes and my very strong Yorkshire accent, and that ended up defining a lot of the way I think. Why should we be exclusive? You never know, these days a kid in a hoodie walks into a store and, for all you know, he’s a billionaire.” Christopher Bailey, 2013
  • coca cola: inspire optimism + teenage desire for populist social currency = spread happiness content “Teens rate their lives via social interactions, so we want to give them content that helps them achieve this goal. content that enables them to receive more likes, more retweets, more shares. It is not about more content. We are lost in a world of more more more. It is about more good content. That is linked to strategy. Content that people will share and that will create value for them + your brand.” Wendy Clark, 2013
  • the guardian: the voice of your opponent has a right to be heard + desire for objective reporting = freedom of all information “The Internet has challenged the newspaper model. It has taken away advertising, the notion of authority coming from experts, and it has added personality and a sense of community. The news can come from anywhere. Lets embrace that.” Alan Rusbridger, Guardian Editor
  • the key to unlocking “shared value”? 1 2 understand your long term purpose 3 marry it with a real social need create a valuable, sharable experience
  • 1 “ “ understanding brand purpose: jim stengel BRAND PURPOSE IS DEFINED AS WHY WE’RE HERE AS A BUSINESS OR A BRAND. IT’S THE DIFFERENCE WE’RE GOING TO MAKE, THE IMPACT, THE FORCE THAT ATTRACTS PEOPLE. — Jim Stengel brand: we exist to: INSPIRE MOMENTS OF OPTIMISM AND HAPPINESS FLY IN THE FACE OF ORDINARY BUILD SELF ESTEEM IN ALL WOMEN BY CELEBRATING NATURAL BEAUTY CREATE THE WORLD’S BEST DRIVING EXPERIENCE
  • 2 tap into a real social need/ desire: what problem are you solving? the bigger the problem you are fixing, the greater the social value, the great the brand benefit “ when you’re working to make things 10 percent better, you inevitably focus on the existing tools and assumptions, and on building on top of an existing solution that many people have already spent a lot of time thinking about. But when you aim for a 10x gain, you lean instead on bravery and creativity — the kind that, literally and metaphorically, can put a man on the moon. “ Astro Teller, Captain of moonshots, Google x
  • 3 create a valuable, sharable experience: innovation x participation = game changing action innovation x participation = change
  • in sum: at the heart of all great advertising lies the “truth well told” but great brands have always been those who can ladder up product truths to bigger social ideals • while this system worked wonders up until the last decade, the changing socio-political-technological circumstances have provoked us to fundamentally question our blind faith in the promise of the future • instead of buying the dream, we are living in a time of “presentism” - we want action, tangible value, here and now • this is a demand that is being made of all institutions - government, religion, and corporate: what value are you really creating for me/ society today? (vs. lofty rhetoric) • how does this change the nature of brand? the successful ones go from dream peddlers to action drivers: building value beyond the P+L, championing ideals that translate into tangible social improvement • ultimately, society will no longer let companies simply create value for themselves. and brands can no longer simply promise a dream. they have to put their money where their mouths are and invest in actively bringing their purpose to life. •
  • We must create work that matters. Matters far beyond our business. Create goodness that transcends our business. That creates good for our world.” Wendy Clark, Coca Cola
  • thank you